Mark Fairhurst Receives BFPA Award for Outstanding Contribution to BFPA/BSI Technical Committee MCE 18/-/8

04 Dec 2023

Jerry Hughes, BFPA’s Technical & Standards Projects Committee (T&SPC) Chairman announced a special award for Mark Fairhurst, for Outstanding Contributions to BFPA/ BSI Technical Committee MCE 18/-/8 at a recent BFPA meeting on 28 November 2023.

Mark has been involved in standards development for four decades, starting in 1982 while working for the British Hydromechanics Research association (BHRA). At that time the USA had proposed an ISO test procedure to assess the contamination sensitivity of hydraulic gear pumps, which was controversial because it was unrepresentative of real-world contamination levels and would lead to premature failure of certain pump designs. As a research engineer on the project, Mark generated the test data to challenge the USA proposals and put forward an alternative standard drawing upon Field Studies and other projects within the DTI Contamination Control Programme. During the 1980’s Mark was a member of MCE 18/-/6 and contributed to the generation of filter test, particle counting and system contamination control standards utilising the experience he gained running the various rigs at BHRA.

Photo: (LtoR) Mark Fairhurst receiving BFPA Outstanding Contributions Award from David Phillips

In parallel, BHRA was involved in pressure impulse/burst testing and seals testing standards development, which again resulted in test rigs which would be used for industrial contract work as BHRA transitioned to BHR Group Limited, an industrial contract research company. Mark designed, built and operated many high-pressure test facilities at BHR, usually involving a fluid power element and covering a very wide range of applications in extreme and sometimes potentially hazardous environments. The test work involved both component and systems from aircraft fighter aircraft to submarines, cryogenic seals to superheated steam gaskets and that experience made him well placed to join MCE 18/-/8, the product testing committee in 2009. Mark became vice chairman of the committee in 2014 and chairman in 2019.

The work of the product testing committee is diverse and includes hydraulic component/system sound measurement, testing of control valves, pressure/fatigue testing, pump testing, component reliability testing. Mark also championed the development of water hydraulics standards within the committee and worked closely with the Japan Fluid Power Association to introduce the first ISO standard for testing water hydraulic pumps.

For more information on BFPA’ technical committees, please email Nicky Quinn at